[WPMU Dev website] Please close old support threads, or allow meaningful contribution to them.

Recently I've had my share of support requests in the queue as we find more and more issues with the WPMU plugins we're using for our production site.

After hours and days of deep digging, searching, and research, I have often come across Google search results that lead me right back to the WPMUDev site. A recent case in point is an issue that a group of WPMU support reps have been working with me on for more than a week. Ironically enough, this issue was reported almost two years ago and had a resolution which went unnoticed by the team helping with the current ticket who admittedly have yet to be able to reproduce the issue (at least it appears so since no one updated to the contrary.)

As I often do, I reached out to the members of that conversation that was 2 years old. I do so for several reasons. First they already went through the issue and may have insight I'm missing to help me solve my current problem. I also reference back to other tickets when I know they are the same. The reason being that, in my opinion - actually in my recent experience - this is / has been very helpful for people also coming across threads whose cross referencing may help them also solve their problems that would have otherwise gone unnoticed, not realizing that a possible solution or viable direction was already available. This also prevents flooding of current tickets with unnecessary fill that can distract from arriving at a solution and arguably can even reduce WPMU Support queue requests with the same question asked over and over.

Despite that however, a few times now, although it has been very polite and professional, I've been chastised by the WPMU Devs for "opening up old threads" and "pinging users who would get email" because of my contribution. Well, "yea" I want them to get an email. I want to work with other members of the community who may have already been there and done that. Isn't that what a community is for?

So, I'm confused - why in the world would you keep these old threads open if you don't want people contributing to them? The message here you're sending is one of confusion and grey area. "You can reply to this post - but don't!!! it's unofficially against the rules because it's too old!"

Huh??

My approach to interacting with the threads has not only helped me solve my requests faster, it has provided WPMU Devs with supporting information when they may have missed it, and helped other users reference material that helps them to solve their issues faster (as noticed by the growing number of 'thumbs ups' on those threads perhaps?)

If you disagree, then that's fine, but If you don't want us contributing to old posts then you should close them out. If you keep them open, why not encourage interacting them in a way to continually give them value? They may be old, but that doesn't mean they can't have continued relevance in solving current issues within the WPMU Dev technology.

On a personal note, no one likes to be chastised. If I have violated a policy or otherwise contributed in a way that is contrary to the community's practices, by all means, please shoot me an email to let me know. I've only been here a few months and am still learning the rules.

But the next time I'm publicly denounced by a WPMU team member, I'm really going to have to reconsider whether or not being a WPMU Dev member is for me.

Evidence of similar can be found throughout the forums for others as well over the years. All of this could be alleviated, I think, if you guys would just make a decision as to a policy for interacting with older posts and clearer guidelines on how to do so.

  • Tony G

    You're echoing an ongoing theme that I have here about DEV tracking tasks and not tickets. They use these forums as a ticketing system (or is it that they're using a ticketing system as a forum?). But there are no ticket numbers, no reference back, no closing of resolved items when product updates are published. Yes, re-opening old threads is discouraged, as in most forums, but I agree with your judicious necromancing. And most new threads get a super cordial and positive response like no one has ever heard the issue before. We are completely on the same page.

    I've voiced my concerns here often enough, and in different ways, and have had sufficient, considered, and positive feedback. I know the company is fully aware of these concerns and the pains that it causes both us and them. I'm comfortable that they've heard the cry and are responding as best as any company can given current priorities and an existing roadmap for which they've already planned resource allocation. I think we've done our part to be the squeaky wheel, they get it, and I think we'll see changes over time. So, YMMV of course, but personally I think we can take some of the pressure off on this topic.
    ... and apply painful pressure elsewhere ... mwahahaha :imp: j/k

    I hope that perspective helps.

  • James Morris

    Hello blue and Tony G

    Yes, you both have some excellent points. Points that our team take very seriously.

    blue I apologize that I have not gotten back to you on your existing issues that I'm handling. I'm afraid my queue is a bit high right now and I'm working through tickets as fast as I can while also handling the NSR (No Staff Response) threads. Expect an update from me on those shortly. Again, I sincerely apologize for the delay.

    Regarding how the forums are run... I think everyone at WPMU DEV (meaning staff) would agree that an overhaul is needed regarding the forums. And that's exactly what is happening! :slight_smile: Our Site Dev Team is currently working on some major revamp work on the site. Some of these changes have already been pushed out in the last month. One of the big focuses will be a completely updated forum. Presently, we are running on a very old and highly customized version of bbpress. This served our company and members well for a long time, but we have definitely outgrown the current setup. This is being addressed.

    While I cannot offer specifics of everything that is being done regarding this (not really my area). I do know our management is well aware of the issues and limitations you are frustrated with and are actively working on solutions that will serve the community better.

    Also, I will also forward this thread to my supervisor so they will be aware of your feedback as well.

    Thank you for taking the time to offer your feedback and help to improve what we offer to the community.

    Best regards,

    James Morris

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